Author: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Length: 323 pages
No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.
Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.
CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did.
WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless
BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe.
And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.
Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.
Protagonists: Clarke Griffin was sent to juvenile confinement for "treasonous" acts, but is given the chance at freedom aboard a drop ship being sent to Earth to see if it can once more support human life. I really liked Clarke, while she can be a bit stubborn and hold a grudge like no one I've ever seen, she also is a very relateable character and has the best interests of everyone sent to Earth at heart. Bellamy will do anything to protect her sister Octavia, even holding the Chancellor of the Colony hostage to get onto the drop ship she's on and make a daring escape to Earth with her. Bellamy is another character that felt very relateable, his loyalty to his sister is unwavering and while he doesn't really care what happens to the other ninety-eight people aboard the ship to Earth at the beginning of the book, he slowly starts to care for much more than just his little sister. Wells did the unthinkable to get himself on the drop ship to be with the girl he loves, but unlike Bellamy his actions had repercussions that put more than just his father, the Chancellor, at risk. I wasn't a huge fan of Wells, I mean I understand doing anything for the girl you love, but there are some limits that shouldn't be crossed. Glass was on the drop ship until Bellamy caused a large enough distraction for her to escape back onto the colony and apologize to the boy who's heart she broke. I liked Glass a lot and found her to be really down to earth and loved her sense of character and morality.
Romance: So there is a love triangle in this book, actually there's more like two love triangles. First there's the Wells/Clarke/Bellamy love triangle, which I liked to a point, though I'm still not a huge fan of Wells, as he seemed too confident that once he appeared on the ship headed to Earth that Clarke would just magically forgive him and take him back or that the selfish things he's done would in anyway endear her. I did like the Bellamy/Clarke relationship though, there's a good amount of tension to action ratio and it doesn't move too fast. The other love triangle is between Glass, her ex-boyfriend Luke and his new girlfriend/best friend Camille. While this wasn't really what I would call a "traditional" love triangle, both as the main character involved is one of the sides, and that their isn't too much competition between the two, it was an interesting and compelling storyline to read about.
World-Building: This story initially takes place on a giant space command center called "the Colony" where the last known humans retreated to after the Earth was full of so much radiation that it could no longer support human life. On this ship if you commit a crime grave enough you will be killed and floated out into space, however if you're under eighteen, even if you commit murder, you will be put into confinement until you become of age then your case will be reopened and reevaluated, however due to some serious complications one hundred of those under eighteen that were confined were sent on a secret mission to Earth to see if it could maybe once again support human life. While this world has so much potential, it never really reached it in this book. There are moments that hint or outright point at larger areas of world building to be seen in future installments but for a first book, it seemed to focus more on character development, flashbacks, and evolving relationships than it does on a more concrete plotline.
Predictability: Because this book was both fast yet a bit bland it was hard to know exactly where things were going. I found myself caught of guard a bit more than I would had the story been boring, bit while it lacked the flair that a good antagonist or central conflict would have added, it was a still a riveting tale to read. There were a few twists that I was completely and utterly shocked by as well as a few that I saw coming, but definitely not in the way they came about in the story.
Ending: So the ending was a bit flat as it didn't feature any final confrontation nor any real final climax, leaving me feeling as though the book ended sooner than it should have. I know that this is a series, but I expected a lot more out of the first book in a series. Instead it left the reader with some very bold cliffhangers and a feeling of unfulfillment.
So, I watched the first season of the CW series before reading this first installment in the series, and what I can say is that while there were aspects to the book that I liked more, I really do prefer the series. It taps into that potential that I was talking about and makes this world so much richer.